Date: Saturday 21st November 2020, 12.30pm.
Live on BT Sport
Venue: St. James' Park
0 - 2
Karl Darlow turned away a Tammy Abraham header
at the cost of a corner kick at the South West section of the ground. A
short flag kick routine ended with Mason Mount running towards the byline and crossing
into the six yard area where Fernandez diverted it into his own goal at the
The defending was desperately poor but Ben Chilwell kicked the back of
Federico Fernandez's leg which would have been given as a foul anywhere else
on the pitch - notwithstanding the fact that the Newcastle player had made
contact with the ball a fraction of a second before that impact.
For some reason the irrelevance of whether or not Fernandez touched the ball
first seemed to be enough for the officials and pundits to declare the goal
was fine and after a brief VAR check it was allowed to stand. 0-1
Half time: Magpies
0 Blues 1
Not for the first time, United managed to turn attack
into defence almost instantly but when Timo Werner picked up the ball inside
his own half he had two defenders directly in front of him.
The ease with
which the German international skipped between Fernandez and Sean Longstaff
was alarming and by the time he reached our box, a simple pass to Tammy
Abraham left the striker a straightforward low finish past Darlow and in off the Leazes End post.
Full time: Magpies 0 Blues 2
Steve Bruce commented:
"We had one or two opportunities but didn't take them. Maybe in the
first half we were a little too deep at times. They're a very, very
good side and like I said, when you go high up the pitch, they can
really hurt you.
"There will always be grumbles. We had some important players
missing. But Chelsea are a very good team. We had three good
opportunities, and against the big teams, you've got to take them.
"That's the fifth time we've been one
down with five or 10 minutes played and we have to address that.
"I'm frustrated because we can't get a result. I make no excuses but
we've played three of the top six in the last few weeks.
"Second-half, there was a lot of pleasing points. But, make no
mistake, it was a very difficult afternoon."
On Jamaal Lascelles:
'Itís a strange one. He hurt his knee before half-time When he ran
out to test his knee (ahead of the second half), he felt his
On Callum Wilson:
"I couldnít risk him because of the risk of a hamstring and missing
for the next six weeks. Weíve erred on the side of caution and we
hope heíll be available for us next week.
"One of the reasons why we bought him was to add some goals for us,
which heís obviously done.
ďWeíve now got two or three getting back to help that situation -
obviously Callum being one of them (along with messrs Gayle, Shelvey and
"The result is key in
these games. The Premier League is tough, relentless, and we dealt with
the challenge of the game very well.
I won't get excited about being top of the table for five minutes. It's
important to be humble and know it's a long race.
"Itís always smoother on the bench for
me and the staff when you do wrap it up early, but it can happen. We
played well, itís not an easy game for us coming here against a very
"It was great to get the
early goal, that changes the aspect of it, but the second one was then so
important and we obviously had chances to get that earlier. Even after that
we could maybe score again, but we canít have it all our own way.
"There are days where you arenít quite at it in front of goal, then we put
the game away very well I thought in our professional performance.
"It's important for us as a group if we want to get where we want to be that
you have to work on those moments when you do go ahead that you donít get
"Penetration was the big thing for me. We were having control but people
were still happy to run in. Itís very easy to think, 'Iíll come short to the
ball' or 'Iíll play the safe pass.'
"We had to keep making those more dangerous passes and the runs and the
effort to get in there, and I think to a degree we did.
"Itís not an easy game, I can understand the players can sometimes become
comfortable. Itís little lessons where we can get better.
"They came out more positive in the second half and I always felt the real
danger moments for us could be on transition and counter-attack, because
Timo showed that two or three times in the first half and then obviously he
shows that for Tammyís goal.
ĎWe played well in patches and the result is key in
these games because the Premier League is tough. Itís relentless and after
the break where we were playing well and everyone goes in their own
directions and comes back.
"I thought the lads dealt with the challenge of the game very well today, so
Iím very pleased."
failed to keep a clean sheet in
nine successive PL home games. We make that our worst run
since 2007/08, when an identical nine game sequence was followed by the
departure of boss Sam Allardyce.
Ciaran Clark played his first PL game since the 0-4 defeat at
Arsenal back in February of this year.
Blues @ SJP - Premier League era:
2020/21 Lost 0-2
2019/20 Won 1-0 Hayden
2018/19 Lost 1-2 Joselu
2017/18 Won 3-0 Gayle, Perez 2
2015/16 Drew 2-2 Perez, Wijnaldum
2014/15 Won 2-1 Cisse 2
2013/14 Won 2-0 Gouffran, Remy
2012/13 Won 3-2 Gutierrez, Sissoko 2
2011/12 Lost 0-3
2010/11 Drew 1-1 Carroll
2008/09 Lost 0-2
2007/08 Lost 0-2
2006/07 Drew 0-0
2006/07 Lost 0-1 (LC)
2005/06 Won 1-0 Bramble
2004/05 Drew 1-1 og(Geremi)
2004/05 Won 1-0 Kluivert (FAC)
2004/05 Lost 0-2 (LC)
2003/04 Won 2-1 Ameobi, Shearer
2002/03 Won 2-1 og(Hasselbaink) Bernard
2001/02 Lost 1-2 Shearer
2000/01 Drew 0-0
1999/00 Lost 0-1
1998/99 Lost 0-1
1997/98 Won 3-1 Dabizas, Lee, Speed
1996/97 Won 3-1 Shearer 2, Asprilla
1995/96 Won 2-0 Ferdinand 2
1995/96 Drew 2-2 Albert, Beardsley (FAC) (2-4pens)
1994/95 Won 4-2 Cole 2, Fox, Lee
1993/94 Drew 0-0
Federico Fernandez registered his second own goal as a
Newcastle player and the fifth of his Premier League career:
Aug 2015 Swansea v Chelsea
Jan 2016 Swansea v mackems
Oct 2017 Swansea v Leicester City
Jul 2020 Manchester City v Newcastle
Nov 2020 Newcastle v Chelsea
The defender has scored four times at the right end in the PL (two
for Newcastle, two for Swansea).
After a fortnight off
for some mostly meaningless internationals, Newcastle carried on
where they'd left off against Southampton; conceding early and
losing to a side who were far superior than a two goal margin may
Such was the dominance of a pink-clad Chelsea side in the first half
that the casual viewer could have been forgiven for thinking that BT
Sport were so desperate for content that they were broadcasting a
Steve Bruce made four changes to the side that started at Southampton:
Fabian Schar,Jeff Hendrick, Miguel Almiron and Wilson
dropping out while Ciaran Clark, Javier Manquillo, Isaac Hayden and Joelinton came in.
New names, but the same issues with motivation, concentration and
The ninth round of Premier League games coincided with the
introduction of the Nike Hi-Vis ball - our occupation of the
Saturday lunchtime slot meaning that we were the first side to watch
an opponent pass it around us.
Given that this was a clash between the league's top scorers and
most shot shy side, the absence of Callum Wilson dampened any
mediocre aspirations home fans may have held and that seemed to be
the attitude of the home players, who manned the barricades almost
from the first whistle.
And it was almost; a forward foray by Joelinton ending with a foul
and free kick award. Quite how we frittered away that particular set
piece is unclear, as the ball was further away from the Chelsea goal
by the time the replay ended and live pictures returned. Given the
unremitting awfulness of our other dead ball moves though, perhaps
the TV director had the right idea.
Darlow made two vital saves inside the first eight minutes as
Timo Werner's shot was pushed wide and Abraham's close range header
was blocked but a short corner seconds later provided the already
inevitable looking opener
That came when
bundled the ball into his own net from close range under the
challenge of Ben Chilwell. As had been the case here against
Brighton, our plan A was in tatters and there didn't look to be a
Aside from a
mis-hit long range effort from Joelinton attempting to catch Edouard Mendy off his line,
the Chelsea goal was never threatened. Two weeks off didn't seem to
have benefited Allan Saint-Maximin much, with a neat backheel and
one run across the box and deflected shot his contributions.
A white bandage sported on one wrist made it look like he was
continually waving a flag of surrender from a distance away, while
BBC pundit Alan Shearer accused him of throwing in the towel since
signing his new deal.
That strong criticism that also included a mild rebuke for Bruce,
but it would be no shock to discover that the former boss had spoken
to the current one before calling out the inconsistent Frenchman on
Match of The Day.
Werner should have made it 0-2 on the half hour but after finding
space in the box, side-footed wide of the post.
Jamaal Lascelles was unable to continue despite lining up for the
start of the second half and Schar hastily replaced him as the
visitors continued to push on in search of another goal; Werner and
Kurt Zouma both coming close.
Having netted the winner in the corresponding game last season, Hayden had a great chance to find the Gallowgate net
on 58 minutes after a fortunate deflection left him through on goal.
blazed wildly over from ten yards before being adjudged to have
handled the ball before shooting.
Within seven minutes the game was over after Chelsea finally found
their second goal of the afternoon, just as United were pushing
That meant the impending substitution of Miguel Almiron for Javier
Manquillo was immaterial, as was the arrival of Andy Carroll
Longstaff was unlucky to see a fabulous effort from a short corner
strike the Gallowgate crossbar in the 72nd minute and Almiron had a deflected shot
saved, either side of Werner's rightly-disallowed goal for straying offside.
Carroll went clear in added time and his deflected shot hit the
side-netting but that would have been little more than a consolation
with the destination of the points never really in any doubt.
Victory for the Blues put them top of the table for a few hours
until Spurs replaced them, while Newcastle would end the weekend in
fifteenth - their lowest position since last November.
Bruce's post-match lament about playing a run of games against top
sides doesn't bear close inspection when considering where a
substantial slab of our points have come from under his command -
against those very sides, including Frank Lampard's lot.
Despite the lack of entertainment or excitement they routinely
generate, a margin of patience and tolerance can be afforded to his
team though, if they can indeed now take the fight to supposedly
A quintet of games when we might reasonably be expected not to line
up in two banks of five players now appear on the schedule before
the League Cup tie at Brentford.
By Christmas therefore, we should have a better idea of how much of
a struggle this season is going to be. Should we have failed to take
points off our supposed counterparts then we're in the clarts, with
the cupboard apparently bare in January for anything other than loan
The manager's continual sniping at supporter unrest online meanwhile
betrays a lack of intelligence and awareness. He may reach for his
book of Geordie cliches to wax lyrical about getting the crowds
back, but he'd now be getting dogs' abuse from a rapidly emptying
SJP had the pandemic never happened. Exactly 12 months ago, meetings
at that stadium were mapping out a strategy to give away 10,000
season tickets that were unsellable.
If Bruce did one thing right today, it was in leaving Callum Wilson
out - holding him back for more training and the start of a run of
games when his presence could be absolutely pivotal. Better that
than seeing him vastly outnumbered and run himself into the ground
as happened at St. Mary's.
57 games and 16 months in, this is a work in progress as we're
constantly reminded, but on days like this the only question seems
to be whether we're building a folly or a ruin. Neither are pretty
to look at.
Whether it's the enforced absence of crowds or repeated 90 minute
doses of this unpalatable dross, Bruce's side are providing the most
persuasive possible argument for the club takeover by the Saudis
Unpalatable to some, that increasingly looks like being the only
antidote to cure this malaise.